At least 60,000 people have died in Syria's conflict, UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay said on Wednesday, citing an "exhaustive" UN-commissioned study.
Over five months of analysis, researchers cross-referenced seven sources to compile a list of 59,648 individuals reported killed between March 15, 2011, and Nov. 30, 2012.
"Given there has been no let-up in the conflict since the end of November, we can assume that more than 60,000 people have been killed by the beginning of 2013," Pillay said. "The number of casualties is much higher than we expected, and is truly shocking."
Also on Wednesday, at least 30 people were killed when Syrian warplanes bombed a petrol station in a rebellious suburb on the eastern edge of Damascus, two opposition campaigners on the scene said.
"I counted at least 30 bodies. They were either burnt or dismembered," said Abu Saeed, an activist who arrived at the area in the Muleiha suburb of Damascus an hour after the raid occurred at 1:00 P.M. local time.
Another activist, Abu Fouad, said warplanes had bombarded the area as a consignment of fuel arrived and crowds packed the station.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-regime activist group, and the Local Coordination Committees said dozens were killed or wounded in the attack.
An amateur video posted online showed several charred bodies as well as a bearded dead man who was torn to pieces. It also showed several vehicles on fire as black smoke billowed from the Nawras gas station.
The videos appeared genuine and corresponded to other AP reporting on the events depicted.
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